Under Construction: The Apprentice Experience - Film 2

Apprentices are the lifeblood of the construction industry - they bring enthusiasm, dedication, a fresh approach and a thirst for knowledge and skills that is invaluable if we are to safeguard our future skills base.

At a time of rising University fees and high youth unemployment, the benefits of the 'earn while you learn' option are obvious to both new entrants and experienced workers who are keen to get on in construction. For many employers, however, still in the grips of the most severe downturn to affect the industry for decades, supporting apprenticeships is becoming more challenging. But the industry is aging with one in six expected to retire in the next decade so if we fail to support apprenticeships now, we will face of a severe skills shortage in the future.

CITB-ConstructionSkills has provided essential funding to employers for many years to help take on apprentices and boost the skills of their businesses. As well as the support for many of the better-known trades, we also work closely with specialist trade federations, to support specialist areas which make up almost 50% of the workforce.

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, one of CITB-ConstructionSkills's Internal Verifiers, Steve Hyatt visited the Lead Sheet Association in East Peckham to gain some first-hand experience of the types of skills and challenges our apprentices face.

In the second of three Apprentice Experience films, Steve tries his hand at making a lead chimney apron and gets to hear more from both apprentices and employers about why apprenticeships continue to be the preferred route to industry.

Watch the first Construction Skills Apprentice Experience here

Watch the third Construction Skills Apprentice Experience here